Aubrey’s hectic tour schedule back home, where she’s been busy promoting her 2016 debut album “ New City Blues”, has meant we have had to wait some time for her to journey across the pond since its release. Happily though she finally made it over here to play a few shows as opener for Dylan Leblanc and we had a great girlie chat over a pint or two before the London gig ( my review of her set here http://bellesandgals.com/2017/09/12/aubrie-sellers-the-lexington-london-11th-september-2017-review-by-lesley-hastings/ ). While many of you may be aware of her musical heritage (daughter of singer songwriters Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers, and step daughter of producer Frank Liddell who has famously worked with Miranda Lambert ) my questions focused on Aubrey as an artist in her own right. She was one of the loveliest and most interesting people I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and I hope you enjoy the read……
LH Welcome back to the UK! How’s the jet lag??
AS Not bad, I thought it was going to be much worse! I got to have a day off in Belgium which is where we flew in to so I got to rest and I’m doing alright!
LH You were here back in 2015 to play C2C weren’t you?
AS Yes that’s the only time I’ve played here, it was kinda like a random one off, I played a little acoustic gig so this is my first time properly touring and I’m really excited about this!
LH And since then your album has come out which you’ve been promoting back home, how’s that been? I’ve read some great reviews!
AS It was an interesting experience, I released my record independently originally, it really took off and I ended up signing a record deal with Warner Brothers. Now I’m already looking towards the future and making another record! It’s been a great ride so far, we toured A LOT last year ……over 200 shows!
LH Yes as well as your headliners you opened for Miranda Lambert, The Cadillac Three, some huge arena shows!
AS And Chris Stapleton ……TC3 play more rock venues/clubs which were amazing, Miranda and Chris play big venues ….I started playing with Chris three years ago, maybe more, he was playing tiny venues when he started and every time he plays to more and more people! I loved him when he had his bluegrass band, The Steel Drivers, I used to go watch them play all the time! It’s been amazing to watch him get to where he is now.
LH Is it true you turned down a few record deals before your album came out, was that because you wanted to keep control of the process?
AS Definitely! I grew up around the music industry so I kinda know how it works! I’ve seen it eat people up, especially creatively! My goal was just to write and make the music exactly how I wanted to, put it out there and see what people thought of it, then I could sign a record deal knowing they knew exactly who I was.
LH I love all the different musical styles the come together on your album, to create the “ Garage Country “ sound as you’ve called it. Your influences are wide, from bluegrass to rock to trad country and everything in-between, but is there a common factor in the artists that inspire you?
AS Definitely! I grew up on bluegrass and trad country, I love artist like Steve Earle and Dwight Yokam who really sound like themselves and don’t chase anything and stick to their guns, but like you say I listen to a lot of rock, early blues music…..the common theme is soul, rawness, music that’s not over produced or slick so that it’s really coming from the heart.
LH And is that something you try to bring to your music?
AS Definitely, I have a very country voice and I write country songs, its almost simple the way that I write, but the production is very electric, very rock ’n’ roll. When I made the record it was important I got the right musicians, there was no over editing or over playing, making it sound like it was live…..there’s something in a live show, a soul!
LH You’ve written/co written all 14 tracks on the album, you started writing for it a few years back too, did you set out to be a songwriter or were you always interested in becoming a recording artist?
AS Yeah, the first song on the record was written in 2012! It’s funny, I wrote songs growing up, I got my first guitar when I was 13, it was something that came naturally. But when I dreamed of making a record I never thought “I’m going to write every song” cos all the artists I love cut other peoples songs too. But when I started writing for it, especially with the landscape of country music changing so much, those songs don’t really exist to cut so I ended up writing everything for it and I think it ended up being more authentic to who I am.
LH You’ve co-written with some of my favourites, Brent Cobb for example and you also collaborated with Brandy Clark and Jessie Jo Dillon (on Liar, Liar). The only all female write on the album, that must have been fun?
AS Yes I really like both of them! I’ve known Jessie Jo like for ever, for years and years, and of course Brandy is amazing, love her, and the two of them are so close that working with them was amazing. Like you said I don’t write with a lot of girls, but those two are so insightful and great lyricists.
LH Anyone you dream of writing with?
AS I’d love to write with Steve Earle, he’s such a big influence. But I’ve been writing a lot on my own for the new album about things that have happened to me, which is where I get my inspiration from.
LH That brings us nicely to a solo write on your current album that I love, “ Losing Ground”, tackling feelings of isolation…..
AS That’s a really personal song, it just poured out of me! I played it for a couple of people I was close to, co writers and family members who honestly didn’t get it…..that made me a little self conscious about the song and I wondered if i should put it on the record! But I did anyway, obviously, I thought there must be other people out there who’ve felt this way. And so many people comment on that song it makes me feel really good about writing the truth. I’ve dealt with anxiety, I’ve always been an introverted person and that song is is like my introverted anthem! This song has emboldened me when writing for the new album, I’m going to trust my gut!
LH Do you have a personal favourite from the album, maybe one that’s particularly fun to perform live?
AS I love all the rockers!
LH You’re like the Chrissie Hyde of country music!
AS You’re not the first person to say that… ( LH Damn!) …..nobody has said that currently, but I wrote for a book that’s coming out called “Women Walk The Line” ( LH Yes, you wrote about Alison Krauss didn’t you?) and the woman that edited it, she was a rock writer for a long time and she said that so you were very insightful to say that…and she’s a really smart lady!
LH That’s made me feel great!! A couple of light hearted ones to end with….. You describe yourself as a “text book aquarius” on your twitter account! Discuss…..
AS One of the main things is that they love to read, which I do, I just started a book Instagram with a friend. So I love to read and learn, I’m introverted and care about social issues. And a lot of aquarians are ambitious and creative!
LH And I gather you’re a massive Harry Potter fan….which character, male or female, would you chose to play if you were in one of the films?
AS If I was to play one I guess it would have to be Hermoine, I identify with her the most . But my favourite character if i wasn’t going to play them would be Professor Lupin, I really connected with that character for some reason especially in the movies, the actor who played him, David Thewlis, was so caring and dynamic.
LH What are your plans for the rest of the year and going into 2018?
AS So, I’m supposed to be going into the studio a week after I get home, recording new music for the rest of this year then putting out a new album hopefully the beginning of next year! This is all speculation but I’ve been writing and I’m ready to start recording!
LH And hopefully you’ll come back to tour the new album, maybe with your band?
AS Definitely! We’re talking about doing that next year for sure, it’s important for me to come back over here!
LH Fantastic! Thanks for your time and enjoy this tour!